CHICAGO - Murders and shootings reported last month in Chicago increased drastically from July 2019, but overall crime in the city decreased, according to data released by Chicago police.
The 105 murders reported in July mark a nearly 139 percent increase from the 44 reported in July 2019, while the 406 shooting incidents are a 75 percent increase from the 232 last July, according to figures in a statement from police Saturday.
The Sun-Times has counted 106 homicides throughout Chicago in July 2020 and a total of 430 for the year through the end of July.
So far this year, murders are up 51 percent compared to the period from January through July 2019, along with a 47 percent increase in shootings, police said.
The number of shooting victims for July came in at 573, with at least 58 of them minors, according to Sun-Times records.
The month’s latest reported homicide was a 9-year-old boy who was fatally shot Friday on the Near North Side. Police said he was an unintended target hit by gunfire while playing in the area.
July’s youngest victim was a 3-year-old girl shot while riding in her family’s car in South Shore July 22.
A day earlier, Chicago saw its largest mass shooting in recent memory, when 15 people were shot outside a funeral home in Gresham on the South Side.
The month opened with a bloody Fourth of July weekend that saw 79 people shot across the city, 15 of them fatally. Eleven of that weekend’s victims were minors, and two of the children — 13-year-old Amaria Jones and 7-year-old Natalia Wallace — were killed.
Three Chicago police officers were shot by a suspected carjacker July 30 outside the 25th District police station on the Northwest Side. One officer was left in serious condition, and two others suffered injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening. The officers returned fire, injuring 25-year-old Lovelle Jordan, who was charged with six counts of attempted murder for the shootout.
The department also faced allegations of police brutality and more than 20 misconduct complaints with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability after multiple clashes with protesters last month over statues of Christopher Columbus. Among the protesters injured was 18-year-old Miracle Boyd, an activist who had at least one tooth knocked out by an officer.
Earlier in the month, police announced a new citywide unit of officers to help combat the surge in violence this year.
“As we continue moving more officers into the districts and closer to our communities, we have also been focused on creating teams that can address violent crime head-on within our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” CPD Supt. David Brown said in the statement. “Our officers will engage directly with residents. We will hear their concerns, and continue to work in partnership with them as part of an all-hands-on-deck effort to curb the violence in our communities.”
Officers have seized more than 5,600 illegal guns and made 3,700 gun arrests so far this year, police said. That’s a 5 percent increase from the same period last year.
Overall crime — a category including murders, sexual assaults, robberies, burglaries and vehicle thefts — has decreased 9 percent year-to-date compared to the same period in 2019, police said.